'Old torpedoes' being used in new Navy's new Kalvari submarine due to long delays in procurement of heavyweight ammunition from 'scam tainted' Italian manufacturers
- India on Thursday inducted its first modern conventional submarine, INS Kalvari, into the Navy
- Due to lack of new heavyweight torpedoes the Navy had to pull weapons from another line of submarines
- Heavyweight torpedoes on Kalvari to be deployed on nuclear submarine fleet
After a delay of around five years, India inducted its first modern conventional submarine, INS Kalvari, into the Navy on Thursday, the first in almost two decades.
The submarine, which was earlier supposed to be inducted in the middle of this year, had to wait for six to seven months more for its commissioning as senior government functionaries insisted that the platform should be ready for operational deployment with its weapons at the time of being commissioned by the Prime Minister.
Due to this, the Navy borrowed the torpedoes of another class of submarines and fired them about three months ago to prove that the platform was ready for operational deployment, sources said.
The Navy has been facing long delays in the procurement of heavyweight torpedoes for the Scorpenes, which will be known as Kalvari class, due to the cancellation of a tender to procure the weapons from the scam-tainted Finmeccanica group of Italy which has now been named Leonardo.
Sources said that due to lack of new heavyweight torpedoes, the Navy had to pull out weapons from another line of submarines and integrate them with the state-of-the-art Kalvari.
'The integration of the torpedoes is still going on but the main weapon for Kalvari would only be the new heavyweight torpedo for which a multi-vendor competition is going to be initiated in the near future,' a source said.
The heavyweight torpedoes for Kalvari would also be deployed on the nuclear submarine fleet of the Navy, including the boats of the Arihant Class nuclear powered submarines.
Putting it into commission in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of the Navy for its role from disaster management to combating piracy.
'Be it terrorism via sea, piracy, drug smuggling or illegal fishing, India is playing an important role in combating them,' he said. 'I call it SAGAR — security and growth for all in the region.'
Addressing the gathering, Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: 'Peace in Indian Ocean, which is the lifeline of global trade is better off with INS Kalvari.'
Kalvari is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines that will be handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) to the Navy. Designed by the French, these are being built by MDL in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Navy.
Kalvari would be followed by five more submarines at a gap of nine months each.